Hamilton breezes past Verstappen for Hungarian GP win

2019-08-04 17:28

Lewis Hamilton stormed to victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday, passing Max Verstappen late in the race with Sebastian Vettel a minute behind for Ferrari in third.

The result sees Hamilton extend his lead in the drivers’ standings over Valtteri Bottas and Verstappen.

Behind the podium finishers, Charles Leclerc crossed the line fourth with Carlos Sainz wrestling his McLaren to fifth place.

Verstappen’s teammate Pierre Gasly led home Kimi Raikkonen in sixth and seventh respectively, Bottas in eighth and Lando Norris and Alexander Albon who rounded out the top ten.

It was a race decided by tyre strategy with Mercedes gambling on a late pitstop to usurp Verstappen – a gamble that paid off handsomely for the German team.

Verstappen led the field away comfortably whilst Bottas struggled in second, locking up and losing places to teammate Hamilton and both Ferraris of Leclerc and Vettel as well as taking damage to his front wing after making contact with Hamilton.

Back up front, Verstappen remained unchallenged as he built a 2.5s gap to Hamilton in the opening five laps with the pair bridging a further distance of eight seconds to the Ferrari pair whilst Bottas made an early pitstop to replace his damaged front-wing and re-joined at the back of the field.

After 10 laps, Hamilton had reduced the deficit to Verstappen to two seconds with the pair setting near-identical lap times to one another.

But Hamilton would continue to slash that gap, chipping another seven tenths out of Verstappen’s lead as the race leader began to struggle with his tyres, expressing his agitation to his engineer over the radio.

Hamilton pitted six laps later than the leader but a slow stop meant he was relegated back to second place as Verstappen streamed past down the pit-straight and into a six second lead.

The Brit quickly began to cut the gap to Verstappen down to a single second, bringing him within range of using the DRS overtaking aid.

The gap stood at just 0.5s and the pair diced side-by-side through turn four but Hamilton was forced to take to the run-off to avoid making contact.

Subsequently, Hamilton dropped back and Mercedes made the decision to pit him again for new tyres to help him catch and pass the Red Bull.

As Verstappen continued to lose grip and speed in his tyres, Hamilton flew to pull back a 20 second gap to half a second and, with four laps to go, breezed past the Red Bull to take the lead of the Grand Prix.

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January 12 2020